Cynthia Trope

Like a Patchwork of Light


Murano, an island located just north of Venice, Italy, in the Laguna Veneta, has been a glass-making center since the late 13th century. This cheerfully colorful pezzato (dappled) vase was produced by the Venini Glassworks of Murano. Founded by Paulo Venini in 1925, the firm retained the great technical traditions of Venetian glass-working methods while developing a new aesthetic, and has been credited with reviving Venetian glass design in the 20th century.
Glass, Venini, Fulvio Bianconi, Murano, Venice, Italy, pezzato

A Model of Speed and Performance


Models and prototypes are an important part of Cooper-Hewitt’s collection. They represent a step in the design process and a way of showing the story of an object from concept to final product.
Walter Dorwin Teague, Walter Dorwin Teague Jr., Marmon Motor Car Company, Boucher, Marmon Sixteen, car, Jazz Age, Streamline, Great Depression

A Deskey Table


Cooper-Hewitt is fortunate to have the archive of renowned American modernist designer, Donald Deskey, as well as a number of Deskey objects, in its collection. A versatile practitioner in many design disciplines—exhibition and interior design, furniture, lighting, and packaging—Deskey was also a pioneer in the field of industrial design.
Donald Deskey, Ypsilanti Reed Furniture Company, Edward Durell Stone, Richard H. Mandel House, Marcel Breuer, Bedford Hills, New York, Radio City Music Hall, Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes, Art Deco, International Style, modernism

An Early Eva Zeisel Design


Designer Eva Zeisel, born on this date in 1906, passed away at the age of 105 last December. A major figure in 20th-century industrial design, she is perhaps best known for her contributions to mid-20th century American modernist ceramics. Her career, however, spanned more than 80 years, and we are fortunate to have some of her early works, including this tea set known variously as the Leningrad or Intourist tea service (Intourist was the Soviet Union’s official state travel bureau).
Eva Zeisel, Varvara Petrovna Freze, Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, ceramics, Porcelain, enamel, gilding, Soviet Union, Leningrad, Tea set, Pratt Institute, Hungary

A Watch To See


The ubiquitous Swatch watch is manufactured by the Swatch Group, a Swiss conglomerate whose name is a contraction of the words second and watch. The company introduced its first watches in 1983, at a time when digital timepieces were enjoying wide popularity.
wristwatch, Swatch, United Nations, watch, analog, Swiss

A National Design Award Winner


Although I never had the pleasure of meeting designer William Stumpf, who passed away shortly before winning the 2006 National Design Award for Product Design, I feel that he knew me. At work I sit in an Aeron chair, one of the most comfortable task chairs I have ever used and, arguably, Mr. Stumpf’s best-known design. The Aeron chair, designed by William Stumpf and Donald Chadwick, was introduced by the manufacturer Herman Miller, Inc. in 1994, and is still in production.
Aeron chair, William Strumpf, Donald Chadwick, National Design Award, ergonomics, chair

Red-Hot!


Red! Here I Am! Red-hot! In 2009, I first noticed this electric space heater prototype, designed in 1973 by Bill Moggridge, from across an exhibition gallery. The form immediately grabbed my attention with its startling—yet pleasing—tone of vibrant red. A departure from the black- or beige-box modernism of many industrial design objects of the period, this heater combines rational design with emotional appeal in a highly utilitarian object.
Heater, Bill Moggridge, Hoover Ltd., england, 1970s, Industrial Design, modernism

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